Austin's Homelessness Advisory Committee
Meet Your Neighbors
"I want people to know I'm a hard worker and a person who believes in helping out his fellow man or woman. I believe in giving back and hope I can help someone because it's easy to get discouraged out there."
"I love the theatre and dance. As a child we went to many musicals, and my parents instilled in me a love for them. I took ballet and tap as a child. I loved it! I was never lonely at home because I'd put my music on and do my turns across the living room for hours."
"I'm a poet. I take it very seriously. I take my writing and reading seriously. In order to be a writer, you have to read. You should be able to beat up your own work."
"I come from a good family. I don't want people to blame them for the mistakes I made. They took care of me. I estranged myself from them. I had to forgive. It was so big I had to forgive myself in parts. You don't forgive others, you forgive yourself."
"My favorite thing about Austin is that it's not only okay to be different, it's appreciated."
"My proudest accomplishment is staying sober for 14 years. Never thought I could do it by myself. Had a spiritual experience which led me to go back to AA. What was different was I was able to live one day at a time and I found Mother Nature when I was going back and forth to meetings."
"Austin boasts that at UT, what happens here will change the world. I'm going to see to it that things change with or without Austin or UT. Hopefully with help, but I don't see the cavalry coming."
"I'm proud of placing my life with the Lord. I ask him to save me from myself. Even now I'm in transition. I ask if I'm on the high-road or low-road. I still trust him even if it's dark and I'll still know my way."
"My favorite thing about Austin is that the people are friendly, but I'm not sure because I'm homeless and the jury's out. My bones don't break easy. I'm getting older. More later."
"My goal as a child was to know everything about everything. I was crippled by accident but I knew how to sew and created my own business that way. Creating things by yourself helps you find expression for your thoughts and feelings in a material way."
"One of my earliest memories of Austin was when I was sitting near the capitol, listening to a busker. Leslie came up and started doing this little hula number. That was when I fell in love with Austin."
"My proudest accomplishment is probably raising my kids. All 3 of mine have good work ethics and they got them from me. They're all caring, kind people that I'm very proud of. They've stuck by me through my times of illness and addiction. I'm thinking I did something right."
"My proudest accomplishment is that I bought a piano. I love it. I see others play the piano and the joy it brings them and to others. I'm helping those around me."
"I graduated from ACC. I went a few years ago to finish my Associates. I got a 2-year degree. It only took 25 years to get a 2-year degree. I started in 1984 and then dropped out twice. That was a pretty cool accomplishment."
Eligibility and Membership
Membership is offered at the discretion of the Organizers. Membership may be offered after an interest form is submitted, complete of an Advisory Committee orientation, and agreement to the requirements outlined in the group's Bylaws, including attendance expectations.
To be eligible for the Advisory Committee, participants must meet these requirements:
Have been previously homeless or are currently experiencing homelessness
Must reside in the City of Austin, Texas
Have the capacity to attend the group's bi-monthly meetings
Must be sober during the group's meetings
Must be willing to participate actively and provide feedback during the group's meetings
What are our goals?
Educate and inform policymakers on the realities of homelessness, including disabilities, mental health, substance use disorder, and other issues faced by individuals who are homeless.
Obtain feedback on current services and resources for people experiencing homelessness.
To better understand the realities of homelessness and to inform the improvement of services.
To inform the design of materials and outreach for people experiencing homelessness.
The Toiletries Delivery Service is enabling a couple members from the Lived Experience Advisory Group to build, test, and develop a delivery service that fills a gap they see in the existing homelessness system. This process is helping us understand how we can proactively enable people experiencing homelessness to help themselves by developing opportunities for them to help their community.
An A5 zine booklet created by the 16 members of the Homelessness Lived Experience Advisory Group. It includes information on healthy coping skills for people experiencing homelessness as a more positive way of approaching difficult situations with the people they interact with on a daily basis, such as case managers, service providers, employers, and the public.
At Life University, people experiencing homelessness can learn personal self-care skills, professional development skills, and housing and life skills. Classes can be taught by service providers, voluntary community members and mentors, and people experiencing homelessness. Classes can be hosted in underused spaces that are temporarily repurposed for pop-up classes.